Make it a family affair
Go hiking, biking or swimming together. Or how about a sunset walk through your neighborhood as a family? Emphasize to your children that physical excursions can be a fun adventure. Instead of asking them if they want to go for a walk, rephrase your question with a sense of adventure, like, “Do you want to go on an ‘spy’ mission?” Talk to them about making healthy choices, and share your interests, whether it is birding or bug collecting. Reclaim your own sense of wonder through the eyes of your child. Families who exercise together enjoy better health and share quality time together. Exercising as a family is a wonderful bonding experience.
Make fitness a way of life
If you are constantly telling your kids to go outside, while you are watching TV or on the computer, chances are your kids will want to do the same thing! By taking your own health and well-being seriously and rediscovering your wonder of the great outdoors, you are showing your kids that being fit matters. Lead by example by taking your health and wellness seriously. With our full schedules, our needs often fall to the bottom of the list.
As I tell all of my clients from 8 to 80 — it’s never too late to be in the best shape of your life. Live your life by example. By reawakening your own wonder with the great outdoors, you can foster your child’s physical activity, leading to healthy choices for the whole family.
Now go out and play!
Kate McKay, an American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer and business consultant, resides in Newburyport. For more fitness tips, visit her website at www.kate-mckay.com. Please feel free to submit any fitness and health questions to Kate at email@example.com.